Good morning, and happy Wednesday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Israeli tank hits crowded U.N. school sheltering refugees
At least 15 Palestinians were killed and 90 wounded when the tank tore through a school holding refugees in Gaza on Wednesday, officials said. The strike at the Jabaliya refugee camp comes amid some of the heaviest airstrikes against Hamas militants since the fighting began three weeks ago. Tuesday also marked the deadliest day so far, with 128 Palestinians killed, according to a Gaza health official. Meanwhile, the use of technology is changing how information from both Israel and Hamas have been spread worldwide. Read more in NEWS.
2. Fighting Ebola outbreak requires more boots on the ground
While public health officials warn residents in three West African nations — Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia — about the dangers of Ebola, there isn’t exactly a front line of workers deployed to stop the spread of the disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent 12 people to the affected region to provide advice — but not to treat people. So far, the World Health Organization has deployed 120 people. “But we need a lot more,” a spokesman said. Read more in HEALTH.
3. European Union slaps Russia with new economic sanctions
EU leaders say the sanctions are targeting Russia’s oil industry, defense and other major sectors, ultimately limiting the country’s access to European capital markets. The White House on Tuesday joined the implementation for tougher sanctions, with President Barack Obama saying they will have a “bigger bite.” Russia has been accused of arming the rebel separatists in eastern Ukraine, who are suspected of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 earlier this month. Read more in NEWS.
4. Firefighters get a grip on wildfires raging in Yosemite
Crews continued to make progress last night in fighting the El Portal fire, with containment increasing from 19 percent to 34 percent, officials said. But there are still concerns that Yosemite’s renowned clusters of giant sequoia trees could be in the line of fire. California’s crews have been run ragged, fending off some 216 wildfires alone last week, and the cost to fight wildfires in the cash-strapped state could top a record $1 billion this year. Read more in NEWS.
5. Water main bursts, flooding UCLA with up to 10 million gallons
The University of California, Los Angeles, and surrounding streets — including a part of storied Sunset Boulevard — turned into a wet mess after a water main broke, spewing a geyser of water for about three-and-a-half hours. “We lost a lot of water, around 35,000 gallons a minute, which is not ideal in the worst drought in the city’s history,” City Councilman Paul Koretz told The Associated Press. Several structures and facilities on the campus were inundated by the water. That included the J.D. Morgan Center, which has three basketball courts and other sports amenities, and Bruin Plaza, on which the Bruin Bear Statue sits. Two parking garages also flooded, with as many as 100 submerged cars inside, and that could pose a transportation problem as the campus recovers. Read more in NEWS.
6. Accused captor held on $1M bail in teen’s kidnapping
Fifteen-year-old Abigail Hernandez stared down alleged captor Nathaniel Kibby in court on Tuesday as his bail was set at $1 million. Kibby, who has a lengthy criminal history and was arrested on assault and trespassing charges in March, is charged with one felony count of kidnapping. There’s been little information about what happened to Hernandez after she vanished Oct. 9 and then returned a week ago under mysterious circumstances. Read more in NEWS.
What’s trending today?
Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your television ... The second installment of the Syfy network hit, “Sharknado” returns, this time bringing the flying finned terror to the Big Apple with stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid. The movie airs at 9 tonight ET and is sure to bring the snark, er, shark.